Morning News Round-up
10:09 am
Wed August 17, 2011

Morning headlines: Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Missouri students outpace nation on ACT scores

Missouri students scored slightly higher than the national average this year on the ACT college readiness exam.

The ACT consists of four tests in English, math, reading and science. Each test is scored on a scale from 1 to 36, with scores averaged to create a composite score.

This year's average composite score in Missouri was 21.6, half a point higher than the national average of 21.1.

Seventy-one percent of Missouri graduates in the class of 2011 took the test, compared with 49 percent nationally.

Scores are generally highest in states with the lowest percentages of students taking the exam.

Joplin announces site for new hospital

The Joplin hospital where at least nine people died in the May 22 tornado has announced its rebuilding plans.

The new St. John's Regional Medical Center will be built at the intersection of Interstate 44 and Main Street in the southwest Missouri city.

Officials with the Chesterfield-based Sisters of Mercy Health System announced the location Tuesday night.

Construction will begin in January, with the new facility to open in 2014 along with a second campus in northeast Joplin.

The new hospital will initially have 327 inpatient beds but expand to 424, or more than 50 beds than the previous site.

St. John's replaced its battered building with a temporary field hospital one week after the EF-5 tornado that devastated the city.

A more secure "component hospital" will soon replace that structure.

Missouri Navy SEAL service today

Services are scheduled for Wednesday for a Missouri man who was among 30 service members killed when a helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan.

The body of Matthew David Mason arrived Monday and was escorted from the airport to a funeral home in Kearney.

Chief Petty Officer Mason, a Navy SEAL and a native of Holt, Missouri died when the Chinook helicopter was shot down Aug. 6 in Afghanistan.

Gov. Jay Nixon has ordered U.S. and Missouri flags at state buildings to be flown at half-staff today.

Services will be heald in Leawood, Kansas on Wednesday.  Mason  will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.